A SOUTH East Antrim UDA drug dealer and death driver has denied involvement in the murder of Glenn Quinn.
Colin Simms - who was arrested by detectives investigating the January killing in Carrickfergus - told Sunday Life he is willing to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence.
Out on police bail, the 41-year-old is suspected of assaulting Glenn five days before he was beaten to death on January 3. The Quinn family say their loved one was warned at the time he was under threat from the UDA.
In a series of messages to Sunday Life, Simms said: "I am willing to take a lie detector test of your choosing and answer questions of yours so long as your paper prints the results and tells the truth. I am 100% innocent.
"I know I have a bad criminal record but that has got absolutely nothing to do with what is being published about me nearly every week. I have absolutely nothing to hide on this matter."
The UDA enforcer has a long history of criminality and was first jailed in his early 20s for killing Carrickfergus woman Stephanie Horner in a car crash while high.
He was later convicted of possessing £350,000 of cannabis with intent to supply, but managed to escape prison with a suspended sentence.
Simms was back behind bars at the end of 2018 after being convicted of criminal damage for a house attack connected to a UDA feud with associates of murdered loyalist Geordie Gilmore.
Last year the grandfather was kneecapped by his own organisation, having been accused of extorting money from Carrickfergus drug dealers who were paying the UDA protection money.
Police believe Simms assaulted terminally-ill Glenn Quinn on December 29 because the murder victim had criticised the UDA over its arson attacks on a mechanic business owned by his friend Joe Dunlop.
His comments were made to what he thought was a female friend, who has ties to the loyalist. She is suspected of relaying this to Simms, who is accused of elbowing Glenn in the face outside his Ashleigh Park home.
Five days later, three UDA men lay hidden in the communal area of the flat complex waiting on their 47-year-old victim to return.
As Glenn went to open the front door, they beat him mercilessly, laughing as they made their escape.
Despite being badly injured, he managed to ring family and friends, telling them the names of some of his assailants.
Writing on the Justice for Glenn Quinn Facebook page, his heartbroken younger brother Martin alluded to Simms' role in the earlier assault.
He said: "Glenn was attacked twice. Firstly on December 29 outside his flat. The individual who attacked Glenn that day told him that his organisation would be back. Glenn was left very frightened and shaken by this initial assault."
Martin also slammed the 'Judas' female friend who ran to the UDA claiming Glenn (right) was badmouthing the terror gang. Like Colin Simms, she, too, was arrested and is currently out on police bail.
"Someone started all this by carrying false tales. That person betrayed Glenn, he thought that person was just being friendly, he gave that person money when they were in need, he showed that person kindness, which was just so typical of Glenn, too trusting," he said.
While Simms was polite in his communications with Sunday Life denying any link to the murder, he was more bullish in social media posts shared with friends.
In one Facebook rant obtained by this newspaper, he wrote: "Me and my family have remained silent so far over the Glenn Quinn murder which was a tragic incident, but had nothing to do with me or anything belonging to me. I have made an offer to lie detector test of an independent body and for them to pick the questions. Me and my family have had enough waiting on that so-called police force doing their jobs, they couldn't track an elephant through snow it seems."
Simms went on to blame what he described as a "registered protected rat police informant" on linking him to the killing.
UDA sources say he is under huge pressure from senior figures in the terror gang who believe he has become a liability.
Simms acknowledges that in a message to this newspaper, saying the allegations could get him "killed".